Directed: Richard Loncraine
Writer: Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft
Starring: Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall
Tagline: “Everyone Deserves a Second Dance”
Trivia: Celia Imrie was filming during the day and appearing in “King Lear” with Glenda Jackson at The Old Vic at night. A fast car would take her across London to The Old Vic at the end of each day’s filming.
If the Book Club was a disgraceful example of how NOT to portrait the life of senior people, Finding Your Feet is a superb way of presenting it.
When it comes to senior-bait cinema that glorifies the act of seizing the day and taking second chances in one’s golden years, the UK has the upper hand on anything that ever came out of Hollywood.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is obviously the crown jewel of these retiree ensemble pieces but even the 1998’s Waking Ned Devine was an outstanding example of it. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel appealed to more than the gray-pound demographic.
In the same manner, Finding Your Feet, directed by Richard Loncraine and written by Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft, follows Sandra (Imelda Staunton), an uptight upper snob who left her husband of 30 years, when she discovers that he has been having an affair with her best friend.
Upon discovering it she packs her stuff and moves in with her free-spirited sister Bif (Celia Imrie) with whom she hasn’t spoken in years.
What unfolds once Sandra enters again into Bif’s life is a story that many of this age group can identify with.
Unfortunately, many of the critics missed the main message, in my opinion, of this movie. Many of them called it a rom-com and therefore much of the discussion about it was concerning the predictability of the romance of the movie.
However, what I was touched with in this movie was the relationship between Sandra and Bif.
For me this movie was all about how precious our time is with our relationships and that we should make sure to complete those relationships before it’s too late.
None of us wants to end our life with regrets, so we should better grab any opportunity that we have for having a happy life and a life that fulfils us being surrounded with people that truly care for who we are as a person.
This theme can only be explored in this age group and it is doing it in a sensitive and loving way.
Even if you look at this movie as a delightful late-life rom-com one must give it credit for delving into the bumpier realities of senior living such as terminal illness, sheer loneliness and regular funeral attendance.
The casting of this movie is authentic and realistic. With the exception of Joanna Lumley (who would always be “Absolutely Fabulous”), neither Stauton nor Timothy Spall would be considered for a romantic lead, they are more your average day person, which makes it so relatable.
But in the end, the relationship that may most strike a chord with audiences is the one between the two polar-opposite sisters, who manage to reunite and recall happy memories from the past just in the nick of time.
Finding Your Feet finds its own footing by putting its trust in its strong performers and avoiding many of the usual tea-time clichés as it allows its cast to be defined by their relatable human circumstances more than quaint quirks.
Basically, growing old is a bitch but doing it with others can ease much of the distress.
Verdict – 4/5 Stars in my book